Since I was busy yesterday (Sunday) dealing with computer email problems, I never got the Singalong blog posted, so today I will suggest a Mum-along. The Mummers were the folks who took holiday music to the street when Cromwell banned it from the Church (1600s). While many mumming songs have become our regular Christmas carols (from the French carole meaning "ring" - songs that would accompany dancing, usually those performed in a circle, or ring), I thought it would be interesting to see if others like mumming songs as I do. Sometimes they are songs sung as rounds (another form of ring), sometimes they are songs that simply express the joy of the season. One verse resembles the previous, with just simple changes, encouraging people to sing along.
While the mummers usually did their plays and music in disguise (possibly so that Cromwell's people would not recognize them, saving them from the stocks), we sing them around the piano, fireplace, or even going door-to-door. They often wish happiness and health to the household they visit, suggesting a prosperous New Year. They also often ask the householder to give them some food, drink, or even money in exchange for those wishes.
One of my personal favorites of the mumming songs is named for the punch - wassail - that is also part of the holiday (read more about that at Wikipedia, and check the companion article on wassailing, the focus of the song I include here).
Here we come a-wassailing among the leaves so green,
Here we come a-wandering, so fair to be seen,
Love and joy come to you, and a Merry Christmas too,
And God Bless you and send you a happy New Year,
And God send you a happy New Year.
(See the full set of lyrics here). On YouTube, there is a wonderful instrumental by The Canadian Brass and a vocal by the Strathroy Chorale, among others.
One of my favorite renditions is on the Caroline & Sandy Paton recording "'Twas on a Night Like This" available from Folk-Legacy.
I recorded a version a couple of years back that can be heard or purchased (as a CD of Holiday Songs) from CDBaby.
So what songs on this type of theme are your favorite of the season? Share lyrics, links, or just titles here . . . and maybe sing a few to add some merriment to the holidays.